There are so many musical instruments in the world, that we really think its high time you took a break from your digital turn tables and turned your attention towards these insane, obscure instruments instead. Hint: Mellotron.

There are so many musical instruments in the world, that we really think its high time you took a break from your digital turn tables and turned your attention towards these insane, obscure instruments instead. Hint: Mellotron.

Largest Instrument: The Great Stalacpipe Organ

Ever wondered what would happened if you took a colossal act of vandalism and mixed it with some old-school band class? It took an inventive scientist from the Pentagon three years to achieve it, but with a little elbow grease and a shit ton of sandpaper in 1954, Leland W. Sprinkler successfully created the world’s largest instrument while at the same time forever altering a small natural wonder of the eastern United States. The Great Stalacpipe Organ in Luray, Va., uses rubber mallets and wire affixed to an organ’s keys that, when played, strike stalactites (sanded to a precise note resonance) that vibrate through the rock caverns similar to ringing a bell. It’s reported the organ is still operational and available for weddings where instead of doves, from the bowels of the caverns the organ releases guano-raining, batshit crazy, well, bats.

Oldest: The Flute

Forty-thousand to 43,000 years before Germans were making some really fucked up porn, they were busy sitting around in a southern German cave inventing the first musical instrument that warranted an ass beating if you played it in public. Scientists from the University of Oxford discovered two flutes fashioned of mammoth tusk and one of bird bone along with other personal effects indicating a migration of early Kenny Gs (if flutes were saxophones) from Europe to Africa some 7,000 to 8,000 years earlier than previously thought. The flutes, one preserved with five finger holes, were discovered in the Hohle Fels Cave, once inhabited most likely by the bored offspring of some very disappointed parents who wanted their kid to become a wheel mason instead of a musician.

Most Supernatural: Tuvan Throat Singers

Some folks attract mates through money, others through wailing on a guitar and others by splitting their vocal cords into multi-harmonic vibrations that mesmerize their non-loverly  audiences into not finishing their articles by their deadline. Overtone, or throat singing, especially of the Tuvan variety, is some “Star Trek IV,” calling-of-the-humpback-whales, supernatural freakiness. If you find some of the genuine stuff on the Internet, you’re guaranteed a natural, psychotropic experience as these guys can manipulate their vocal cords, larynxes and cake holes to split single notes into creepy, otherworldly chords. Look up Kongar-ol Ondar David Letterman on Youtube and, after regaining consciousness, you won’t be able to resist buying his CD “Back TUVA Future.”

Most Needlessly Complex: The Pikasso Guitar

Aside from its cubist appearance, this instrument features sufficient guitar strings to outfit the Russian Federal Protective Service with enough garrote wire for 42 non-polonium-related assassinations. The instrument is intentionally reminiscent of Picasso’s cubist period, evoking his two “Guitar” sculptures as well as his painting, “The Old Guitarist.” Created exclusively for the jazz guitarist Pat Metheny, it’s estimated when fully strung the body of the Pikasso guitar, its four necks and 42 strings are under more than 1000 pounds of tension. Although you may see Metheny live and well, it is reported that snapping strings on his guitar caused at least one decapitation, two blindings and one really hip castration, man.

Most Elementary School: The Melodica and Recorder

No list of superlative instruments would be complete without giving a proper shoutout to the only two musical instruments public school systems can afford. An overwhelming number of potential musicians never pick up another instrument because of the plastic, lead-painted recorder they’re forced to whistle through in music class.

Thankfully, those who weren’t tortured throughout middle school with the plastic wussy whistle were exposed to an instrument that receives little fanfare, but rocks the Casbah nonetheless. The melodica is a keyed instrument that requires the phlegmy bellows of the human lungs to power it. A mouthpiece attached either by a hose or directly to the keyboard allows the player to blow air into the the instrument that, when keyed, plays accordion-like notes. Perhaps its most appealing aspect is the delicious spit hole provided on some models, allowing the croup-infected saliva of a hundred classmates to ooze out safely onto your knee.

Most Herbivore Friendly: The Viennese Vegetable Orchestra

Though it may lack the essential amino acids to provide proper homo sapien brain development, what it lacks in evolutionary perks it gains in certain sexual intrigue. Tossed together in 1998, the vegetarian-friendly orchestra exclusively uses fresh vegetables to create musical instruments then played for live audiences around the world. In an oddly brutal ritual of coring, gutting and dismemberment, the architects of sound use their power tools, drills and augers to form their instruments, which range from eggplant percussion to the carrot flute and beyond.

Coolest Name: The Mellotron

Imagine Soundwave and Megatron had a Transformer lovechild named Mellotron who could change from a Decepticon into a bag of weed that smokes itself while hating its parents. See it? Good. It’s actually a somewhat primitive, yet ingenious, sampling device resembling a keyboard housed with electromagnetic tape reels (similar to cassette tapes) that have been pre-recorded with sounds from other instruments. When a key is pressed, a corresponding switch engages a playback head (like pressing play on a cassette player) “playing” that “track” until it’s released. Although the mellotron enjoyed only brief popularity truncated by the advent of the synthesizer, it was used by a number of notable figures including the Beatles on both the “White Album” and “The Magical Mystery Tour,” and perhaps most notably during the intro of “Strawberry Fields Forever.” So take a rip or two, kick back and listen to some trippy eight-track technology that’ll blow your modern mind.